Friday, December 28, 2012

a hard drive back to Virginia

As often happens, this will be a grand catch up entry. The second day at Disney’s Epcot was okay but the highlight was the special (18 dollars) visit to the interior of the greenhouses. That was interesting and the most practical was the system which used the fish water to fertilize the plants, with the water being constantly recycled. The main technique was hydroponics, which have been around for many years but I guess they are getting better. The guide had no specific figures. Much of the produce goes to the Disney restaurants but it is a very low figure, under 5% of what they need. The fireworks display in the evening was spectacular and my dinner at Flying Fish on the Boardwalk just outside of Epcot was terrific and I did have a piece of exceptional flounder. The animal kingdom was fun and I did get there early so I could be one of the first to go on the safari ride and that was decent but quick. It wasn’t a zoo but too close for comfort. After the ride you could walk through part of the savannah and I saw a number of animals and birds, with the highlight being a whole family of silverback gorillas. The Jungle King show was first rate as was the Bug show. I also decided to take the Kali Rapids ride and it was fun even though I did close my eyes at the 23 ft drop (at a 40 degree angle). The kids in my raft loved it but one ride was enough for me. I went back to the room for a nap and then I headed off to Downtown Disney again, and had a decent meal at Portabello, an Italian restaurant. Overall, I am glad I went—and everything was first rate if expensive--but I won’t go again. Tuesday morning found me driving toward Florida City and it was one of those days that get out of hand. After four hours of driving I finally found a place to ride my bike (by the Homestead YMCA) and changed my plans from a campground (the area looked rough) to a Best Western, which ended up being a very decent place. The next day I drove into the Everglades and stopped at Royal Palm but the Anhinga Trail was a disappointment with very few birds, a few fish and a handful of alligators. Further along I stopped to ride my bike for 40 minutes and then I headed to Flamingo to eat and take the boat tour since I wasn’t feeling at all like paddling. The tour was fine, with sightings of night herons and spoonbills, alligators and crocodiles, but I was really hot and had no energy whatsoever. After the tour I realized that things weren’t going well, so on my way to Homestead I called Dove Creek and thankfully they let me cancel both nights and I decided to drive as far as I could toward home (over 900 miles) and that turned out to be about 70 miles. The next two days and nights were awful but at least when I got to Columbia on the third night, I was able to stay at the Clarion and that was a very comfortable room. I was going to try to do something the next day but I was too sick so I simply drove home and have been slowly recovering for the past few days. The big news is that Rhonda’s house suffered extensive damage from a fire and I went out there on Christmas and gave her a nice check to help out. I have gotten back to weights and yoga, and today I also practiced for 20 minutes and that felt good. Later I walked in the New River Valley Mall for 30 minutes and was positive. Earlier in the day I found a cow out of the front pasture and called Dougie and helped him get it back in. My essay on Preppers is moving slowly but it is moving. Tracy did return my Birthday greeting e-mail and I was glad. I e-mailed her back and told her about my spot on the Ten Sleep. I am very glad she is doing very well.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

a good start to my Florida trip

My trip started out well, making it all the way to Columbia, with a stop at Birkdale to shoot a 49. I didn’t take a nap, probably because of my vegetarian diet, so when I arrived in Columbia I rode my bike along the river for 40 minutes and then went back to the Clarion for a nap, before heading to dinner at the Motor Supply Company Bistro. The beet salad was very good and the vegetarian lasagna was also very good. After dinner, I went to Starbucks and finished my grading and put my grades in. The next morning my ankle hurt pretty much so I decided I had better rest it the next couple of days. I realized that since I couldn’t do much, it would be wise to move up my trip a day or I would be stuck sitting around for over a day, and that is what I did. I would get to Disney on Saturday and go to Epcot and Animal Kingdom on Sunday and Monday, then head to the everglades and key largo. I drove steadily through the day, and of course followed the news about the shooting of the 20 children in Newton, CT. I again had no nap, and got to St. Augustine at a little past three, walked to the very rough ocean for a few minutes, then went to the Comfort Inn (not a very nice one) for a nap. After that I drove to get a ticket for the Hobbit, then had dinner at Carrabas. The movie was very good but not great (at least that is my initial impression) and though I did enjoy it, it wasn’t as compelling as the other ones. The next morning I headed off for Disney, stopping to see the manatees at Blue Spring State Park and then renting a kayak for an hour and paddling around a nearby island. No alligators, but a large one passed just after I got in. I got to Disney just after 3, checked in, took a quick nap, then headed to downtown Disney on the river shuttle, which was very pleasant. Downtown Disney was very commercial (no surprise) but it was fun and I enjoyed how the little kids enjoyed themselves. I walked around quite a bit and decided not to go to cirque or to a movie, and instead had a coke and read from Ship of Fools, then had a mediocre dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant. I am a little worried about my health and I am going to have to have a colonoscopy when I return. I hope it is nothing serious but I have to find out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

nearing the very end of the semester

I haven’t heard from Chris about the waivers but I assume he just didn’t have time to bring them over. I will have to call him because I do want them signed. I am in my office finishing me last office hour for the semester, and then I have about an hour of grading left which I will do by the weekend. The semester seemed to go well and I will be interested in the students’ evaluations. The hollow is in good shape and I should be able to leave tomorrow pretty early for my trip to Florida. I have the garbage done, the compost bucket emptied, the mouse problem in the crawl space addressed by Dodson, and all the clothes washed. It is pretty cold right now so heading south sounds like a good idea. I hope to do some exercise tomorrow after resting my strained ankle tendon the past two days. I have covered the strawberries and the rest of the greenhouse plants with 2 inches of hay and I hope that works, at least with the strawberries. I helped out Emily with some cash so she can register for the spring semester and I felt good about that.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

almost finished and on my way to florida

I have changed my Christmas plans around quite a bit. Now I am leaving on Thursday, going down to Disney World, to see Epcot and the Animal Kingdom, then to the Everglades, then to Key Largo and back. I will be going down to Wild Dunes on Jan 13th, which makes a lot more sense since it will break up the winter more and it should be colder up here then. I have almost everything on my home fix it list done, with my tasks today being to clean the truck seat, fix the CD holder, adjust the netting behind the seats (which really does work well in clearing away the clutter in the boxes). I have been hiking in the morning and the weather has been fabulous (today it was in the 60s and Rob and I had a fine walk at Tom’s Creek). I invited Gloria to come down to Florida but she is too busy right now but she really appreciated the invitation. I think Susan’s very reasonable e-mail has put an end to my argument with Herb. I am sorry Herb wrote such negative stuff but I can’t worry about it. Let it go and move on. My grading is coming along and I should be done by Thursday although the grades aren’t due until Monday. I have finished with all my gifts, and I will see Jeff, Rachel and Benjamin tomorrow and give them their gift. On Wednesday I played golf and shot a 51 with some of the worst putting I have ever done (I think I had 2 four putts). I think I was too concerned the with Herb situation to concentrate on golf, but on Friday I went out with a much clearer head and shot a 47, and my putting wasn’t half bad. I got the waiver done and left several copies for Chris and the other people who are hunting there. Having them signed will make me feel better.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

last week of classes

It is Thursday, December 6th and my teaching is over for the fall semester. I am in great shape and I have two more 454 papers to deal with and 4 of the 611 portfolios. I have given the first part of the 200 final, the movie question, and I have part two to give next week. The visit from Ken and Sandy on Monday went very well although Sandy can’t seem to stop herself in trying to help me with what I should do, this time with text messaging. Fortunately, I just cut her off when she goes too far, and certainly Ken and I had a good time. I fixed the leaking toilet by tightening the tank bolts and the gas popping pilot went away (last time it was some bad gas). Maddie Gallo is better from her bronchitis but Claire seems stressed right now. I will visit them before I leave for my trip on next Sunday. The situation with Herb is calm right now and I sent Susan a response to her e-mail that seemed very reasonable to me. I will see what she thinks. I talked to Chris about the waiver to hunt on the property and he’s fine with that. The greenhouse is still okay although nothing seems to be growing much. I have almost finished with my gifts, so that will make things a little easier next week. My paper for CEA has been accepted so I will be going down to Savannah in early April. I hope Gloria can come. Things with Rob remain the same and Fay continues her typical behavior. I do feel sorry for him and I should see him tonight for a walk.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

one more week of classes left

I had a nice time watching the Alabama/Georgia game at Jeff and Rachel’s. Benjamin was a lot of fun and we played hide and seek for almost a half hour. They though my vegetarian diet might be causing my digestive problems and my tiredness. They suggested a few different foods and thought things will be fine. Earlier in the day Mark Burnette came out and cleaned the gutters. He helped me cut the supporting piece for the couch, cut away all the plants around the solar panels, dug the culvert out. It was a big help and now I don’t have much to do. I also charged the batteries for the first time in a while. I met Chris and his son Brantley and I gave him the Dick’s gift card and he and his son left a thank you message later in the evening. My week was very busy but I am getting close to finishing with my classes and that feels pretty good. Ken and Sandy are going to visit on Monday evening so I have to clean the house on Monday morning. My finances are okay but I am overspending by a few hundred and I want to stay within my equity line goals even though I am ten thousand two hundred ahead in my 403 B and my Tiaa-Cref accounts.

Monday, November 26, 2012

a visit to new york

It is the 25th of November and I arrived back in the hollow yesterday after a fine trip to New York. Picholine was superb and I walked up from Macy’s to Central Park and then to the restaurant on 64th street. One of the two elderly men next to me said he knew me but I have no idea how. He was a friendly guy as was his friend but soon it was clear that his friend was suffering from Alzheimer’s. They were off to the Metropolitan opera but I spoke with the first one quite a bit and I learned they had an apartment in the city and a farm in Pennsylvania. They had both gone to Yale and I was very sorry about his friend’s illness, and I told him that when his friend went off to the bathroom. I did a quicker visit on Wednesday to the city and walked up to the South Street Seaport and then over to the Brooklyn Bridge, which was under construction, but that didn’t prevent me from walking halfway across. I sent Kate three pictures during my travels, including one from the bridge, and she enjoyed all three. My visit to John’s mother went fine even though I was worried that he would rant against Obama but he was pretty calm. I chatted a little with Kara and her friend Frank (who was working for FEMA) and overall it was a decent visit. The next day was the football game and I had an okay time. John and Kevin didn’t play so there was no fighting and that was nice. I left at the half and drove to my cousin Pat’s house in Wilmington, but I wasn’t able to find an open golf course and instead I took a bike ride in a state park near her house. Dinner was quite entertaining especially the Chinese couple who came and were very interesting. I had a lot of fun as did my Aunt and Pat, and then Marie and I watched Secretariat on DVD. The next morning I left around 9:30 and was able to play 9 holes at furnace bay near rising sun and ended up riding my bike in the parking lot at the comfort inn in Catonsville. Seeing Kelly, Alfredo and Lucia was a lot of fun and that little girl is quite a character, very smart and a lot of fun to play with but exhausting to her parents. A day with her would have probably sent me to the hospital. We went to a seafood place in Catonsville and then to visit Kelly’s Mom and Theo for dessert. I played a lot with Lucia and the other adults were able to converse freely. Back at Kelly’s I had a chat with her while Alfredo was putting Lucia to bed at around 10 and then when he came out we all chatted until 11:30. The next morning I started driving at 9:30 and arrived at the hollow by 3:30, very good time. My greenhouse was still okay and the batteries were 100%.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

new york city

My trip to NYC has turned out well, with the only complaint that I ate too much yesterday at Blue Smoke for barbeque lunch and then at Gramercy Tavern for dinner. The three kinds of ribs (Texas, Memphis, and KC) were excellent as were the side salad and beans. After that lunch, I walked and walked (probably close to 6 miles up from the ferry, through Chinatown, through Little Italy, then up to GT at 20th) but by dinner I was still not that hungry so Gramercy was not the treat I had hoped. I am going to try to eat very lightly today so I will fully enjoy Picholine tonight. The drive up from Virginia was decent, and I played the Hershey Links (a very challenging course with several ravines one had to shoot over) on Sunday and shot a 48 from the reds. My room at the Comfort Inn in Staten Island was fine, just very small. I have finished my grading for Monday and I just have to do the 200 reading.

Friday, November 16, 2012

finally Thanksgiving break

It is Friday, the 16th of November and I am off for Thanksgiving break. I have had Dennis Anderson, the forester with the department of forestry, out to evaluate the land and he agrees that getting rid of the Ailanthus is the major concern. I of course also want to protect the smooth coneflower. When I went up with Dennis, I saw, for the first time since July, how that July windstorm clobbered the left side of the right side hollow where some of the biggest and most beautiful trees were. I had Andrew come out from VOF to see if it would be possible to horse log the fallen trees and use the money for the Ailanthus eradication and thinning the forest where the coneflower is. He should get back to me shortly. I did my evaluations in the 203 and the graduate class. I am worried that the grad students didn’t give me a good evaluation but I guess there is no sense worrying now—I will find out soon enough. I still have to do my 454 class and I think I will get good marks from them. I cut the grass today (or rather I cut up the remaining leaves) and that should help the grass. I also took a hike this morning and fixed up things in the house so tomorrow I will be able to leave by noon and stay in Winchester. Then I plan to stay in Bethlehem, PA and that way I can be in NYC by 11 so I can spend the whole day there. I talked to John and we joked a bit and I will see him on Wednesday at 7:30. My stomach was pretty upset for the past week or so but yesterday it settled down and today it was fine. I must have had a virus of something. I have two not too bad weeks of teaching and then a week of finals (only two) and I am done for a month. I hope I can do some writing over the break. I did send my return to kayaking poem out to Floyd County Moonshine and I hope they use it. Walked last night with Rob and I will walk with him tonight. Fay and Noah are totally out of control and he isn’t sure what to do. There may not be much he can do.

Friday, November 2, 2012

fifth anniversary cancer free

Another Friday has come and this is a big one, the fifth anniversary of being clean from cancer. To celebrate it, I had a good dinner with Rob and Becky last night at Greens and I will also see them—and meet Becky’s daughters—on Sunday at 3. My graduate class went very well with a very good story and a fine poem, such a difference from the week before. The students were much more relaxed and so was I. I have made it clear what I want in the stories so I hope the good work continues. I talked with Herb this morning and he was very defensive about my fairly simply requests: no more handyman work, a visit from him and Susan, and a different view of my accomplishments at Parnassus (no more a “box carrying yokel from Staten Island” to “the first intern to write two pieces for the magazine. I did back off on my request for them to visit since it would require Herb to fly in a small plane into Roanoke even though he flew in a small plane to Albuquerque. He was rambling in his defensiveness but I think he understood the gist of my complaint. The paper I am going to deliver in Durham was pretty sloppy but I have almost finished revising it and it reads much better. I also sent in a proposal to give a paper in Savannah in April at CEA. Gloria may fly there to meet me. I played golf on Wednesday with the cold wind howling (43 degrees) and no one else on the course. But with my wonderful jacket I was able to shoot a 46, a pretty impressive score considering the conditions. Today I played again and it was almost as windy but warmer and I shot a 49. I played my sand wedge like a croquet mallet. I go my equity line for 180K and that should be enough to cover me until I retire. I sent Gabe a check so he should be able to expand his business, and I sent money to Americares and to Heifer.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

good babysitting and good biking

It is Sunday and Hurricane Sandy approaches the mid Atlantic. It is a huge but not particularly powerful storm but it has the potential to cause massive flooding and power loss. We might get just the edge of it. Saturday proved productive as I did some tasks around the house, including trimming the butterfly bush so my northern trays in the greenhouse would get more sun. I also moved the tray of mixed lettuce to the southern side since it was doing very poorly. I couldn’t move the peas because the climbing strings are attached to the greenhouse but perhaps I will figure something out. I went to dinner with Jeff, Rachel and Benjamin (they treated) and then I babysat Benjamin at the Sufi dance at the Unitarian Church. We played a good deal and then he sat on my lap for almost a half hour munching on some crackers and watching the dancers. After that he was a little wild but overall easy to watch. Today I did more work around the house after a long hike in the morning. I ate another good salad from the greenhouse and did my weights and yoga. Chris returned my Tom Brown book and I called him later to wish him well and to invite him to visit. I drove into Bburg after calling Rob (no answer) and went for a long bike ride at the CRC. The weather was threatening but no rain appeared even though it was pretty cold. I wrote my graduate class and I hope they pay attention to the guidelines for a good story.

Friday, October 26, 2012

graduate problems and good fishing

It is Friday the 26th of October, Gabe’s birthday (which I did call him on), and just three days before I have access to my increased equity line. 20K will go to Gabe as a loan for his business and the other 8K will pay off my visa bill (approaching 5K), let me give 1K to charity, 1K to Jeff, and also pay off some miscellaneous bills. It has been a busy and demanding week, the lowlight being my graduate class on Wednesday where both the poem and the story was subpar and I had to critique them severely (after letting the students vote on whether they wanted my input, which they did). I was tense before the class and I just don’t have the heart to do the necessary critiquing. I am debating quitting the graduate program since I don’t want to hurt the feelings of these very affable and decent students. On Thursday, I played golf at the meadows and just on a lark, I decided to play from the blue tees and try to break 54. I started off pretty well and kept playing very well and I ended up with a 47 with 2 penalty strokes. After taking a morning hike and then having the Dodson guy out at noon, I drove up to Meadowlane Cottages on the Jackson and had a very nice time fishing. Nothing was happening on the surface but after I tied on a small prince nymph, I got continual action hooking 5 decent fish and bringing in 3. I left around 5 but if I had kept fishing until dark I am sure I could have caught a number more.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

past the midpoint of the semester

This week, my eighth week of teaching, has gone by quickly. My teaching went pretty well and I was able to hike in the hollow almost every morning. There are still a few plants left, mainly asters. My greenhouse is producing well and I have eaten fresh spinach and lettuce three times. I had Clear Creek out and now the water heater is cleaned and tomorrow David King will come and do the maintenance on the septic system. I will have Dodson out next week. Last weekend I had a lovely trip up to the Jackson river just above Covington and a nice bike ride there also. I will go back up there soon. I should have my loan within a couple of weeks, and that should help. I wonder how much they will increase it, at least to 180 K for sure. My niece Jenny invited me to her wedding but I sent her back a friendly note explaining that I couldn’t. I have gotten out of a bad situation and I would be crazy to go back into it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Appraisal Is In

The appraiser (Randi Lemmon) did come but it wasn’t until Thursday morning. That has to be in by the 12th so I should have the money by the 22nd. My trip turned out very well with golf and biking at Royal New Kent, a dinner with Jenny, Mark and Paloma, and then off to Ken and Sandy’s at Accomac. We went kayaking in the marshland, then Ken and I went biking for 8 miles and then he prepared a wonderful dinner of sea trout, clams, broccoli, and wild rice. We watched some football and then went to bed around 11. I got up and had breakfast with them then drove all the way home since it was a pretty rainy day, although I did stop at Royal New Kent for a bike ride. I am midway through my semester and all is going well. My health seems pretty good and I am back to walking in the morning which is a great way to begin the day. I got my bike back this morning and I will ride tonight or tomorrow. I had a couple of fine walks with Rob and I played golf once since I got back. The greenhouse is doing well and I have two trays of strawberries, two trays of spinach, two trays of mixed lettuce and two trays of sugar snap peas. I ate a couple of lettuce leaves and I should start harvesting next week. I am not sure the strawberries will make it through the winter. I took a hike this morning (Friday) and then cut the grass. When I got back I built the box to cover the pump for the septic, then treated it with Thompson’s. I cleaned up the house a little and it shouldn’t take much time to finish it tomorrow. In the afternoon I saw Jeff for a good massage and then I went for a long bike ride at the VT Corporate Research Center. I talked to Casey Nicely and the appraisal is in so I should have the loan by early November.

Monday, October 1, 2012

a productive weekend

I had a good weekend, with hiking, biking, golf and some work in the hollow. I planted some spinach in the greenhouse, and now five of the trays are growing and I should have lettuce next week. I dug out the culvert and cut the grass and finished pruning the road. There are still a few wildflowers left, including great lobelia, heal-all, a kind of mint, white snakeroot, wingstem, a very few touch me nots, horse balm, and several asters and goldernrods. I hope this week will be a good one teaching and I plan to leave on Thursday to start my weekend trip to see Jenny and then to see Ken and Sandy in Accomac. No call from the appraisers yet but I am assuming it will be this week, hopefully early. I walked with Rob the last three evenings and we had good chats and I hope Fay calms down so he can have some peace.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

another week finished

It is Monday morning and I am on the way back to Radford to teach and attend the 4 pm graduate meeting. My trip to Charleston turned out well, starting with a fine dinner on Thursday with Becky at Good Food in Charlotte (though the traffic was there for a long time), then moving on to Charleston, where I got there early and was able to play golf on the Harbor course (48 from the golds) and then ride my bike for almost an hour. After Gloria and Kathy arrived we went into town for dinner at 82 Queen (very good duck) and then drove back to Wild Dunes. The next morning found me riding my bike and then going for a dip in the ocean. I found Kathy insufferable and I am very sorry that I had to deal with her, which put a damper on my visit with Gloria. We drove into town at around 4 and Gloria and I got a decent walk and chat in after Kathy bizarrely just walked off to an ATM and didn’t reappear until dinner at Hanks (average food, snapper was okay). On Sunday morning, I was going to go for a walk with Gloria and Kathy on the beach but I decided to go for a bike ride instead in order to minimize my contact with Kathy. I then drove them into town and what a sense of relief I had when I dropped them off. Then I drove almost non-stop to Charlotte, played 9 holes at Regent Park (48), most of the round with 2 fellows who were very friendly. After a nap, I went walking in downtown Charlotte (with a few minutes in the fourth ward) and then I drove to PF Changs for a fine dinner. It is Thursday the 27th and this week has gone well, with my teaching going fine and getting all of the things done that I had to. It seems that the natural resources program may not be the best thing for me, especially since it seems like I will be low on the priority list for grants and I have to put up 200 for a plan. My equity extension is going well and I am waiting for the appraisal company to set up an appraisal. I will see Rob tonight for a walk and I played golf this afternoon even though the weather report hinted toward rain.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday has started out very well. I had a lovely hike down to the orchard (three times on the steeper part), watered the greenhouse (still hopeful this planting will take), cleaned up the house some, rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes, practiced my sax for 20, finished grading my 200 class.
I drove in to Cburg and picked up the knee brace, went for a flu shot (which did sting), and cashed in my two savings bonds for 79 dollars. It is going to be tight for the next month but once the equity line increase is approved, I should have no more fluidity concerns.
I talked to Jenny and I am going to see her in October and I hope to see Ken and Sandy during that trip.
Yesterday I played golf and shot a 48, but I had to work hard to avoid a collapse on 17 and 18. I shot from the white tees though I did do the first hole from the gold tees because the white ones were crowded.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It is Thursday and I have two classes to teach before the weekend. My graduate class last night was very good and we went basically nonstop until 9:40. Real enthusiasm for the writing. What a satisfying class this is.
My belly was hurting again (although it is better since I am resting it) and it may be that I am overweight again and that is stretching the scars from the surgery.
I think my loan extension is going to go through and it will be at least 40K, I think. It will allow me to help out a bit and to give some to charity.
I have been walking to the orchard in the morning and snakeroot, great lobelia, horsebalm, thin-leaved coneflower, white wood aster, very late touch me nots are still blooming.
I am sleeping poorly but last night I slept 6 hours straight without the OTC sleep aid so that was good.
There is a dead deer down in the stream and I can’t get to it so I am not sure what to do. The coyotes will get to it but I don’t want it rotting in the stream.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A good weekend, with some golf, walks with Rob, a good dinner and a movie night with Gyorgyi, and a walk in the hollow.
The greenhouse is a little better, with more peas coming up (still a few empty spots) but no lettuce or spinach. I probably will replant again this week.
I have ridden the bike for the last three days and that has helped my knee.
The house is in good shape but I am still not sure about whether to stain it myself now, do it in the spring, or hire someone to do it.
I am hoping to hear from Stellar One this week and perhaps I will bet the equity line extension, at least to 150K. That would be helpful.
I have gotten all my grading and preps done for Monday and Tuesday, so I think this will be an okay week.

Friday, August 31, 2012

No word from the bank but I do expect something from them soon.
My first week of classes went pretty well and I think all but the 200 class started off very well. I like the graduate students and I think that class will be fun. The Literature and the Environment course also looks pretty good. My 203 class has a lot of conspiracy theorists in it and they are very lively. I started preparing for next week today and I was a little uneasy at first but I got a lot done and I relaxed.
Everything else at RU is going well and I continue to entertain Kate with my e-mails and she appreciates the humor.
At home I changed the oil in the generator and took the screens off the trays in the greenhouse. A few peas are coming up but nothing else. I will probably have to reseed with the new seeds from Seeds of Change. I am going to treat the porch with Thompson’s and there is not much else to do. I still have over 30% left in the propane tank and that should last till the November delivery. I fixed the brake light on the camper top and put some guides in for the brake light wires.
I rode my bike for 6 miles at Tech and I intend to go fish Big Stony at 6:15.
I was very tired today but perhaps the pollen and the heat were the problem.




Saturday, August 25, 2012

I have certainly settled back in to living in the hollow. I had the guy from Lowe’s come out and replace the ceiling fan, I scraped the road three times and it is in good shape, I fixed the water bars, cut the grass, I finished the gate (though working with barbed wire is never fun), checked the tractor battery water, fueled the tractor, and cleaned up the house pretty good. I am back playing my sax every day and I am back to bike riding almost every day (mainly along the new river in Radford). I finished reading Cathy Gallo’s novel and it is very, very good. I hope I can help her get it published. I volunteered for Friday’s Move Students In day and I helped quite a bit. I delofted several beds and made at least ten trips up into Muse with students stuff. The parents and the student workers seemed to appreciate my efforts. Things with Maria didn’t work out: she never called me back but that doesn’t hurt me too much. I think I may be better off alone with all my friends. I played golf today and shot a 47 on the back nine from the white tees, which is a pretty good accomplishment.
I don’t think I am going to get my increase in my equity line (I was going to increase it from 120K to 160K but Stellar One wants me to do the conservation easement appraisal again at a cost of 3-4K and that is ridiculous. I wanted the increase so I could pay off my truck loan and my axa equitable loan (total of 22K) and then have them at a lower rate and deductible but I can survive without and increase. I may have to take out 6K in December from the 403B but I will stilI have almost 100K in the account and 260K in the TIAA one (which is almost 5K ahead of my plan) so I will be fine.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Not much has happened since I have returned home on Thursday, the 9th. I had a nice lunch with Maria Bowling and Kate rejected the poem I wrote for her. That was a little frustrating but there is nothing I can do.
I saw Jeff, Rachel and Benjamin and I had a good dinner that Rachel cooked for me. I will see them again on Sunday and Benjamin’s 2nd birthday party.
The house was in good shape except that someone crashed into my gate and destroyed it. I was going to have Mike help me put in a new post and hang the gate but I put in the new post this morning and I think I can finish the job myself (nice to be able to handle it myself).
I had a great dinner with Cathy Gallo on Monday night and we discussed the usual. She did give me a copy of her novel and I have read up to page 85 and like it a lot.
Today (Friday) I recorded my chocolate essay in Roanoke, and then treated Jeff Saperstein to nine holes of golf at the Meadows. He made a handful of very good shots and could become a decent player pretty quickly. I’m not sure he cares to.
I have my FAR pretty much done and I am ready for my courses although I am going to wait to talk to the Graduate class before I decide what to do with them.
Rob is doing fine and I am so glad. He really deserves some peace and happiness.
I talked with John O’Brien and I will see him on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


The kayak trip on the Poudre was a lot of fun. We floated the Bridges section (about 3 miles) and though it was a little bony (and I should have fully inflated my floor) I really enjoyed myself, glad that I could still do class 2-3 water. I didn’t flip over but I really needed to follow the rafts because the water was so low (1.4 and 1.5 is usually the lowest they run).
After the trip I drove on to Limon where I stayed in a pretty bad Quality Inn which cost 16000 points, half of which I hope to get back. The next day I drove to Junction City, Kansas, and then the next day to St. Louis, where I walked along the Mississippi, then by the Arch, then at dinner at the 360 restaurant atop the Hilton. The food was very good and the view down into the Cardinals’ stadium was terrific. The next day found me biking in Louisville along the Ohio River and then staying in Lexington and walking a little on the closed down UK campus. The next morning I was off and in the early afternoon I made it home, the end of another successful journey.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My trip to Denver had its difficult moments. I decided not to stop at Arches so I could make it to the Roaring Fork in Glenwood Springs so I could fish. By the time I got my license (which took almost an hour) and by the time I finally got to the campground I was staying at, it was already pretty later. I couldn’t find the trail down to the river (it was actually the bike path) but I finally got directions and made it there. The river was pretty big (I had to fish from the side) and I got one small fish to hit a big yellow stonefly (but I didn’t hook it). I was exhausted and was going to go to Chili’s for dessert but I decided to walk through downtown Glenwood Springs and that was fun. It is a touristy place and after you cross the Colorado (which seemed very low) and see the Colorado Hotel (circa 1893) you seen the hot springs, a huge pool about the size of a football field. I stopped for a non-alcoholic beer at one of the taverns and the place seemed pretty hopping.
My night was a disaster because along with the altitude (which causes real problems with my sleep), the party diagonally across from me kept playing music until past midnight and then wouldn’t turn it off but did turn it down. I finally had to move to a different place and I was fully exhausted.
Since I had driven so far the day before I only had about 160 miles to Denver, so I drove slowly and stopped twice to fish. Both spots looked great but the first one gave me no hits and the second gave me one fish after a lot of hard fishing with grasshoppers, nymphs and finally a Royal Wulff.
The visit to Denver went well, having a nice sushi lunch at a restaurant just off the 16th Street Mall, then walking along 16th for eight blocks. There were buskers and a street festival with performances and it was quite pleasant. I knew I need to ride my bike (which I hadn’t done in two days) so I found the Cherry Creek bike path and rode for 45 minutes on it. The creek was very low but there were plenty of cyclists and part of the path is only for cyclists (peds are on the other side). Biking was a very good idea. On the drive up to Fort Collins I found a golf course right off the highway and played there, shooting a very hard fought 49 with a great final 5 on a long par 4 after a mediocre tee shot that just bounced over a hazard.
I was certainly tired and my stomach was killing me with all the exercise, so I went to dinner at Bisetti’s a decent enough Italian restaurant downtown on College, and then walked a little before having an ice cream sundae for dessert.
This morning I did work on my outline and then drove out to sign up for the kayak trip. That worked fine and I will be done by 4 so I should be able to drive for perhaps 4 hours this evening.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I left Bakersfield not too early and drove to I-5 for the dreaded encounter with LA. Actually it wasn’t too bad although I did get lost briefly where 10 met 5 but I was back on track in five minutes. Driving the whole day was very busy and slower through most of LA but when I finally got to San Clemente I was delighted. I took a nap then went for a swim in the pretty rough ocean, then went for a bike ride along the bike trail just above the beach. That was a lot of fun and the beach was pretty crowded. After that I drove on and in a pretty short period I saw the Camp Pendleton exit and Dave’s blue and white building. I went to have lunch at the Monterey Cannery restaurant and Dave called do we had lunch together and then went to more formal restaurant for dinner. We chatted well into the night and Dave is getting divorced. I had problems with residual cat dander so I ended up sleeping in my truck. The next day we ent kayaking (I paddled out into the ocean but Dave’s back and shoulders were bothering him so he didn’t paddle much. After that Dave treated me to lunch and after a nap we walked along the lovely beach at low tide and then I went for a long bike ride on the trail along route 76. The evening found us at Jolly Roger’s and then we stayed up chatting till 12.
I am now in Barstow after playing golf at Tees and Trees, the marine corps golf course, shooting a 49 and working for it. I am going up to Fort Collins and I hope I can kayak some of the Poudre then I will start back for the final 1500 miles with a stop in St. Louis.

Monday, July 30, 2012

It is Monday July 30, and much has happened. I am sitting in a P.F. Chang’s waiting for my dinner and it will be a nice ending to a fine day. I said a very pleasant goodbye to Rick and Gloria and then started driving toward Buttonwillow. I couldn’t find a golf course so I ended up at the River Lakes course in Bakersfield and that was a lot of fun (shooting 92 for 18). My sore elbow held up well and I hit a lot of really good shots.
My visit to Dolores and Gloria was outstanding. I went with Gloria to San Francisco on Bart and we had a terrific meal at the Slanted ______ restaurant at the ferry terminal shops. We went to Palo Alto for dinner at a Nouveau Indian restaurant and walked around with the Hare Krishna people marching through the downtown.
On Saturday I had lunch with Marina and she was very smart and good natured and we talked for two and a half hours. After I checked in at the Quality Inn on University and took a nap, Dolores and I took a short walk and then had a superb dinner at Chez Panisse.
On Sunday I went for a walk to the UC campus and then headed for Dolores to take a walk and have lunch at Roma, the place Marina works at. That was also fun though I only got to speak to Marina for a minute.
My visit to the Hat Creek ranch was okay but it was pretty hard to fish and there wasn’t that much action. I caught six (three on Wednesday evening, where I fished until dark, and three in the morning, almost all on nymphs). The house was very pleasant but the fishing wasn’t worth the 250.
I also had a very good time visiting the redwoods. I hiked the boy scout tree trail and played golf at the Del Norte golf course.

Saturday, July 21, 2012



The Sleepy Hollow campground was fine and inexpensive and I got there just in time for a swim. I then went out for some food and returned to watch the second part of Stand by Me. I did enjoy it and went to sleep a little after 11.
When I woke on Saturday, I decided to head off and my drive began to Rapid City and the Black Hills. I took route 16 up and I didn’t remember any of it and then when I got to Hill City I took a Forest Service road toward Slate Creek Dam, figuring I might fish the creek and I should be able to get a swim in. I got lost on the way in and finally go to the dam. There was a tiny pool left of the entire reservoir and the stream coming in was little more than a trickle. I drove back and went for a swim at the beach at Sheridan lake then drove to the Placerville camp to fish Rapid Creek. It was running just fine (in fact three kayaks passed me) but it had been fished so I had no luck. Still, it was a lovely stretch of water. Now I headed for lunch at Deadwood and I walked through a little of the town and had a broccoli and rice lunch before losing 20 dollars at one of the many casinos. Now it was time to head for the Spearfish Canyon and that was spectacular as ever. I did stop to fish at my usual spot but the wind and the clarity of the water left me with no hits. I saw many trout but they were much too skittish. Even though my knees were hurting, I went for a fairly short bike ride.
It was time to head on and when I got to Spearfish I decided to drive on and eventually stopped in a very expensive Comfort Inn and overate at a Perkins Pancake House. The motel was very nice and I went swimming and chatting with a fellow and his granddaughter. I was a little depressed about not catching any fish, the cost of the motel, and how painful my knees were. I even thought about cutting my trip short. But ice and 3 pain killers calmed be down though I didn’t sleep well.
I got up and did some writing on my Wharton paper and on my Kaatskill Life piece, then headed off for Buffalo. I was not going to fish or bike today, figuring my knees could use a real break, but when I looked at the map I realized that if I didn’t fish the ten sleep today I would have to backtrack quite a bit tomorrow. I decided I would fish just a little at my favorite spot, and I must say I was somewhat nervous crossing the mountains, worrying that someone might be at my spot. When I got to it, there was no one there and I slowly got my gear on and walked over to the first long pool. I got a couple of fish but it was a little slow. The next long pool produced three fish but it wasn’t until I got into the more difficult faster water that the fish really began to hit. I ended up with 15 trout and my knees weren’t too bad. After getting a campsite at the Boulder Campground, I took a quick nap then had an early dinner at the Deer Haven lodge, which is not open after being closed for many years. I drove back and walked along one of the forest roads then went back to Deer Haven for dessert and coffee. It was still light so I drove up toward Ten Sleep Lake and I found a number of interesting possibilities right near the road. I drove back to my spot and practiced for twenty minutes before heading to the campground to watch the featurette about Stand By Me.
I didn’t sleep well even though it was cool and I had the curtains down, but at 7 I awoke and decided to try one of the upper pools. I stopped at a promising section but there were footprints there and I only caught two small trout at the one of the distant pools. I was very disappointed so I drove back to my spot and though my knees hurt I fished about 60 yards and caught 4 trout, with a couple of 12 inch ones. Following that it was breakfast at Deer Haven and then a nap before heading off toward Greybull. I decided to play golf at the Midway course and I played very well, mostly from the white tees and shooting a 46.
I worked and had some pizza in Greybull, then headed off to the Big Horns, this time through the lovely Shell canyon. My memory is awful since I barely remembered anything about the canyon. I was tired and indecisive but I eventually found a place to nap, and waking somewhat refreshed, I drove to Burgess Junction for a very needed cup of coffee. Even with the coffee I couldn’t figure out where to stay and I wasted a half hour trying to figure that out. Finally I decided I would camp at the Elk View Inn, and then I went for a short bike ride and then for a long and meditative walk along 14A. I went to Bear Lodge for dessert and they said I could park for free on the road above the resort so I ended up there. The night was not pleasant because a broken down motor home started their generator after 11 just after the rain began, and I could faintly smell their exhaust. The generator continued intermittently and the rain was tremendous. Even with an OTC sleeping pill I didn’t drop off till after 3.
When I finally awoke around 7 it was time for breakfast and more writing on my paper and my article. I drove toward Lovell and left the Big Horn with fond memories. The idea of kayaking part of the Stillwater returned and after calling Adventure Whitewater, I was able to set up a trip on the upper five miles before the major rapids began. That sounded exactly right and the trip down was a lot of fun with several 2 plus rapids and nothing really scary. I was getting a little cold when White Bird landing came up so the distance was perfect. I really felt good about kayaking and it seemed to change the tenor of the trip noticeably. I did call Dave to try to come to Las Vegas, so I could cut the trip back a little.
The drive through the Beartooth Pass was amazing as usual and after picking up a salad to go, I drove into Yellowstone. There was hundreds of buffalo along the road and some grizzlies way off in spotting scope range, so I drove slowly, noting how muddy the Lamar was. I finally got to Canyon around 9 and there was just enough light for a quick bike ride, then I checked in and had an appetizer and tea over at the lodge.
The room was very nice and it had a shower so I was able to take a nice warm shower and wash my dirty hair.
I decided to write in the morning and then head off toward Lake. I stopped to visit the mud volcanos and then Dragon’s Mouth. Lake was lovely as usual and I was tempted to take a swim. I drove on to Old Faithful and stopped there for coffee and dessert, then decided to fish a section of the Firehole where another fisherman had stopped. I caught a 13 inch brown on about my fifth cast but then, despite fishing a wonderful looking 200 yards, I didn’t get a hit although I saw several fish rising. I then drove towards Canyon, stopping to fish the Gibbon for fifteen minutes with no luck.
The next day found me working again on my writing and then after a salad bar lunch, it was off to tour the park. When I got to the Gibbon, however, I found a spot that just looked too good to pass up so I stopped, worked my way down, and on one of my first casts brought in a 12 inch brook trout. That was it for this spot though I fished it hard and perhaps 200 yards. It still was a lot of fun to fish. After that I drove back to Canyon for coffee and dessert and then, after talking to a clerk in the sports store, went and fished the Virgina Cascades, above the falls out in the meadows. There were a ton of small fish (4 inches and up to 6) and I got 14.
I decided to leave early and try to cover some ground and things went well so I decided, after a bike ride and golf, to head for Coeur D’Alene. When I got there I went downtown and took a fine walk along the floating boardwalk and through the resort. Then I had some sushi and walnut shrimp at Bonsai Bistro, followed by another walk along the boardwalk just as the sun was going down.
In the morning I wrote some and then watched the Open and Tiger did okay but it will tough for him to win. Then it was the drive to Spokane, where I had a terrific meal at P.F. Chang’s (all vegetable). I then rode my bike back to the pool area past Gonzaga. I love that bike trail along the Spokane river.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The next day I drove on and my GPS stopped working so when I saw the sign for the Holiday Lodge golf course, four miles away, I decided to stop. I got the number from a truck stop and called and they were open and not crowded. When I got there I was surprised that the course was quite challenging and the greens in excellent shape. I shot a 47 and would love to play again. I took my cornfield bike ride about a mile off I-90 and it was quiet and I liked the whispering of the corn. I drove on and on and stopped at a KOA near Rochester, MN and after a swim, I went into town to have a salmon dinner at the Whiskey Creek Bar and Grille.
The next day I got off pretty early and I did another bike ride in the cornfields and stopped to do some writing at McDonalds so I had internet access. I ended up reaching Mitchell in the early afternoon and checked in at a Motel 6 (the Choice motels were too expensive) and went to Cabelas to buy socks. I then walked around downtown Mitchell and went in the Corn Palace and I can’t say I was at all impressed. Dinner at Chef Louie’s followed and the barbequed ribs were first rate.
I didn’t sleep well but eventually, with one of the OTC sleeping pills I got to sleep and didn’t wake until 9:15. I knew I wanted to have a place for the night near the Badlands and the only room in the park was 135 and the Econolodge was 90 so I made a reservation at the Sleepy Hollow campground in Wall.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When I awoke on Monday, the weather was more promising so I decided to stop in Louisville. I wanted to find the hotel by the river and I did: it was the Galt House and the river was the Ohio. I walked all over downtown, took the free trolley up 4th street and enjoyed the architecture and the shops, especially the open air theater on 4th.
My next stop was a golf course, and since it was crowded ahead but not behind, I decided to play two balls, figuring I could get nine holes in quickly and leave if I got frustrated with the slow pace. It was a good plan but after nine holes I had a 41 and realized that if I played all 18, I could break 90 for the third time this year. The second part of the front 9 was harder, ending with a 459 yard par 5, but I played very well and shot a 47 on it, thus ending with an 88.
I drove on and decided to drive into Indianapolis for dinner. I set my GPS for the Capital Grille but after I walked around the downtown area, rather impressed with it especially the huge Civil War memorial tower and fountain, I checked for a P.F. Chang’s and there was one a couple blocks away. I had steamed shrimp dumplings, hot and sour soup and special ordered broccoli with just a little beef. It was as good as ever and as I was driving ready to stay at a campground, Rob called and he was upset with a horrid e-mail from Fay. He wanted me to read it and to talk so I decided to stop at a Comfort Inn in Hebron, where I was able to read the e-mail and chat with him for a long time. She still can affect him with her hateful and completely unjustified accusations. I did go for a swim in the outside pool and that was exactly what I needed.
The next day was planned for Chicago and I did follow my plan, parking at Tinley Park and taking the local train into Chicago. I got into the Lasalle Street Station and began walking toward Union Station along State Street. When I got to Union Station I took the water taxi to Navy Pier, had lunch at Capri’s, then walked along the pier before deciding on a trip on the Tall Ship Windy. It was quite pleasant and the Chicago skyline always rewards. After that I went and found a Starbucks for a very needed coffee and then decided to head back to my truck so I could drive a little more in the evening and it worked out well as I reached Rockford, Illinois where I stopped at a Sleep Inn when I couldn’t find a campground with my GPS. It was fairly inexpensive and I liked the cool air.

Monday, July 9, 2012

It is Sunday, July 8th and my long awaited trip is finally underway. I really wanted to get going so I wouldn’t have to cut any more trees, the residue of the big storm, or prune my road or the sisson’s. The extreme heat (close to 100) was another factor, and that was supposed to end on Monday so Sunday in the air conditioned cab of my truck looked even better.
The day began without any concerns as I finished packing and got rid of the last compost. I had put in some Velcro to hold my kayak paddle and that worked fine. I had organized things very well so I really felt good about leaving. Thankfully, no trees were down and I locked the Sisson gate around nine, a good hour before I expected to leave. I wanted to get to Lexington or Louisville and such goals seemed very possible. The traffic was heavy on 77 and on 64, but I moved at a good clip, making my first real stop at Huntington High School to ride my bike for 30 minutes in the 95 plus heat. Following that I drove for a while then decided to take a nap as the sky was darkening so the heat would be lessened. I napped briefly but a powerful thunderstorm woke me up, dropping rain and hail on the camper top and shaking the truck vigorously. I couldn’t drive so I relaxed in the back and after perhaps a half hour I got out, moved the stuff from the front and began driving again. The next two hours were some of the fiercest weather I have ever experienced and I finally decided to stop just short of Lexington in Winchester and get a room at the Quality Inn at around 5 PM. There would be no golf today or a walk in downtown Louisville. The rain continued and got even worse when I went out to eat, unable to find the Pizza Hut and ending up with a Wendy’s salad. I drove back in torrents of rain but got my truck filled with gas just in case the power went out in the area and I would be stuck with a third of a tank. I drove back to the hotel, practiced my sax for 20 minutes and then went to the room for another nap and then some work on my poems. I hope tomorrow goes much better with the weather. I may stop in Louisville but tomorrow was supposed to be my first visit to Indianapolis so I’m not sure how things will work out.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The big storm on Friday was immensely powerful and quite destructive. Gyorgyi and I were having dinner at Alexander’s when it hit and we didn’t even think to go out. When we left, downtown was a disaster zone with trees down and on cars and debris all over the place. I drove to her house and we found a number of trees down but one big white pine missed her bees by a couple of inches. I tried to sleep there but it was too hot so around 4 I got up and drove back to the hollow where I went to sleep at the third gate because a tree was down and I had no batteries for my sawzall. I cut it when I woke up with the sawzall blade and then found my hollow choked with debris and many trees down. There was a very large oak and a big crown section of another tree across the road but I got to the house (no damage) and walked back with my chain saw and sawzall batteries, the gas container and my helmet with the facemask.
When I got to Gyorgyi’s I cut up most of the big pine and that was hard work. The bees occasionally buzzed around me but none stung me. I finished up and drove to my office to nap and then I went to meet Mike but when I got there he and Clay had already almost finished so I chatted for a few minutes, paid them well, and went into town to see Madagascar 3, a very funny film.
I did some more work in the morning, digging out the culvert and cutting the tree by the third gate and cutting some trees up by the cabin. I scraped the road with the farm tractor. I also got the water out of the pan that was left when I purged the filter and filled the batteries with water (they were down quite a bit from when I charged them: 1 to 1243 and 4 to 1273). Later I took Gyorgyi out to dinner at Norbert’s Italian and then we saw a wonderfully quirky film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Today my good knee hurt so I decided not to play golf, and instead I got my other computer working for internet and for Microsoft Word, picked up my bike, picked up my meds for the trip and picked up some things at Annie Kay’s. I will be having dinner with Cathy at 6.

Friday, June 29, 2012

It is Friday and things are going well. I haven’t been able to get into writing—though I started two poems—but today I finished a draft of the second poem and wrote an ending to the first poem (about Tracy). I also started an essay about my hollow and how others perceive it. That should be fun and I have a couple more ideas for essays so I am in good shape for my trip, writing wise.
I took a walk this morning at about 9:30 and it was already getting pretty hot. It was at least 99.7 on my thermometer at 2:30. The air conditioner worked very well, keeping the bedroom and the kitchen/living room at about 72, which is great. I rode my bike and did the weights and yoga and actually practiced my sax for 20 minutes.
Yesterday I picked berries for Kate and dropped them off. She was real busy so she couldn’t talk. George came over at 6:00 with his son Owen and they basically fished together so I really didn’t get to fish much (although I did get a nice rainbow trout by the rocks). I think they both had a good time and I’m glad I could accommodate them. I put the netting in the truck and cleaned out the three crates. I could get ready to leave in a few hours, though I won’t be leaving until Sunday.
I did try out a couple of bikes at Eastcoasters and somewhat to my surprise, they also make some noise so I think I am just going to go with my Dick’s bike when it is fixed.
I talked to Kelly briefly today and she will call this weekend to catch up. It was a good visit and I hope there are some good pictures of me with Lucia on the pony.
I talked to Rob and Noah is staying over a bit so he is very happy. I am so glad that Noah is acting better.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kelly’s return visit went well and the dinner with Jeff, Rachel and Benjamin along with Doreen and Brian also turned out fine. I didn’t have enough chairs or forks but at least I had plenty of food and I had a lot of fun playing tent with Lucia and Benjamin. I slept in my guestroom and I did sleep well, getting up around 7 and going out to prune the path up by the cabin. We had a leisurely breakfast and then just after 11 they left to meet Brian and Doreen for a hike and then to drive to Catonsville.
I went to play golf after I took the pony for a final walk, checking out the berries for tomorrow and there will be plenty. My golf game was awful (five penalty strokes and a number of three putts) and I shot a 55, though I did play from the white tees. I had an eight on the par three third, putting the ball in the water twice, and then another eight on the par five fourth.
On the way back I got a message that Kate can’t come, but Rhonda and Camry still can so that will be fun. Craig also called me and we are going to play tomorrow at 2 at the River Course but I am going to get there early and warm up a little.
I got rid of the pony and tomorrow I have to clean things up a bit but it shouldn’t take me more than a half hour.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Well, I did get the pony and the total cost with an enclosure and some hay (boy does that pony eat a lot) was 550. This proves I have very little sanity left but Lucia really enjoyed the pony on her visit on Wednesday. She saw it in the late afternoon and didn’t want to ride it right away but she fed it an apple and the next morning she rode it down to the orchard and back. It was fun to see Kelly and Alfredo and I think they were both impressed with how I have things set up. Kellly hadn’t seen the hollow in a long time so I think it was pretty new to her and she had never seen the house. We did see the copperhead up by the cabin—they didn’t want to go in after seeing it sunning itself by the entrance--and there was a bull in the pasture so we couldn’t get very close to see the calves. Kelly, Alfredo and Lucia are my third overnight visitors this year and I must say it is a lot of work to entertain.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I watched the Heat beat the Thunder over Jeff’s house last night and I had fun with Benjamin, who was a riot drumming and singing. He is very coordinated and I also read to him and built some block structures.
I have been hiking each morning and there are plenty of flower in my 6 tenths of a mile walk: Canadian anemone (I think new), viper bugloss, wild hydrangea, orange touch-me-not, narrow leaved housatonia, oxeye daisy, brown-eyed susan, black medick, heal all, bicknell’s cranebill, white avens, loosestrife, common milkweed, daisy fleabane, crown vetch, columbine (just one plant near the orchard, Deptford pink, yellow hawkweed, sulfur cinquefoil. I have been eating apples each day and picking raspberries and blackberries.
I think I have the mouse problem under control. I have trapped out five and the new wire mesh screens are working even though the mice ate through the regular screens again.
I played golf and I started on the back nine and was playing very well but then I hit the long (400 plus) fifteenth, I hit a wonderful drive then a terrific second shot that left me 75 yards away. I then hit a pitching wedge that bounced just off the green and rolled right into the cup for a birdie, which left me 8 under my goal. I ended up with a 39 so I had to play the front and I shot a 47 there for an 86, tying my best round ever.
I am trying to get a pony for Kelly’s visit and I think it will work although the whole thing may cost me over three hundred dollars. But this will be a very special surprise.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I got home yesterday (Thursday) after a big push on Wednesday (573 miles). It was a fine return, stopping to play golf at Packsaddle Ridge, a new course with a lot of challenge. I then rode my bike up the North Creek Road, which was closed because a flood had washed out one of the bridges. After that I drove to meet Rob for a walk, and he was pretty sick but I think the walk helped. I just wanted to record some flowers on the Ocean Path hike up in Acadia: yarrow, yellow rattle, common cinquefoil, wild rose, blue-eyed grass, narrow leaved housatonia, 3 leaved cinquefoil, yellow hawkweed. There were spruces and pines and striped maples. I heard a black-throated blue, a black-throated green, a hermit thrush, and a common yellowthroat.
I watched the first half of the Miami game, and the Heat looked pretty good. At the half I drove home and fortunately, there was no problem with the road. However, the TV wasn’t working so I wasn’t able to watch the game. I drove to the pasture and listened to it on the radio and it sounded like the Heat were ready to give the game away but they didn’t. Sunday’s game should be a lot of fun.
In the morning I took a hike and ate three tasty apples from the orchard. I then took some readings on the propane (36%) so I have used almost nothing for the past month (1%), on the humidity (66 degrees with humidity at 90%), on the batteries (1175 although the gauge showed 100%). Sam from Dodson came at 11:30 and treated the house and changed the mouse baits. Then I took the screen out of the cabin window (I saw that there was a hole in the screen) and replaced the screen with the hardware cloth and a new screen. The other screen looked okay. I put down one poison package and 4 glue traps so I hope I can get things in control pretty quickly. I oiled the new bike and I hope to go riding later after I watch some of Tiger’s second round in the US Open. I am glad to be home and my finances are stable but I have to be a little more careful. I guess I can always cut back my trip a few days if need be.

Monday, June 11, 2012

It is Monday, June 11th, and I am up in Bar Harbor waiting to see if my nature cruise is going to go at 4 pm. I had a fine lunch up in Northeast Harbor and then a rigorous bike ride around Eagle Lake.
I have almost recovered from last night debacle. I came back at about 11 from the Side Street CafĂ© where I worked on a poem and had coffee and dessert and almost immediately, I could tell that something was wrong with the room: it had an odd smell and it made me uncomfortable. I tried opening the window and then putting on the air conditioner but the smell was still there. I called the front desk and the guy there came over and couldn’t smell anything but I was sure it was in the sheets and the pillowcases. I called him later and he told me he could switch me but the other room has a smell though slightly less. I told him I was checking out and that I would sleep in my truck. When I got set up in the truck, I still smelled the smell so I thought that I was wrong, that it was a residual smell from the lotion that the fellow who gave me a massage for my troubled neck used. I called the front desk again and apologized to him, got dressed, picked up my key and went back to 224 where I showered and put all the old clothes in a plastic bag. I was ready for sleep but it was quickly apparent that it was indeed the room and the linen. I called the front desk again and told the fellow my latest news and he said the manager would take care of it in the morning. I slept for an hour or so but the smell woke me up and I had to drive off. Fortunately, a gas station was open and I got coffee and some pie and headed off to look at Acadia at dawn. It was lovely and after driving and walking some at Thunder Hole, I finally took a long nap at a picnic area.
The New York part of my trip was fine but carrying around my bags and sleeping on lousy beds caused my neck to really hurt. Still, I got to see Gabe, Francesca and Julian, my aunt Marie, cousin Tina and Herb and Susan. I walked through Chinatown and Little Italy, rented a bike and rode through Central Park, spent a half hour watching the crowd at Times Square, and went to the World Trade Center.
I left from Gyorgyi’s at noon on Saturday and I got up to a Motel 6 in New Hampshire after stopping to ride my bike and to play nine holes of golf near Sturbridge. I watched the Celtic/Heat game (with the Heat winning) at a TGIF.
The next day I stopped at Ogunquit and walked most of Marginal Way and that was very lovely.

Friday, June 1, 2012

It is Friday and my class is over except to see what Jaime Jackson is going to do. Other than that I head toward New York tomorrow with another year finished. I will get almost 500 a day for maymester and who can beat that.
I will see Gyorgyi, Laura, Andrew and Syvia on Sunday afternoon and that should be fun.
Another walk this morning: sulphur cinq, bicknell’s cranes, black medick, black snakeroot, basil balm, whorled loosestrife, narrow leaved housatonia. I had to cut a little more of the Virginia pine I cut last night when I returned home. Having the sawzall saved the day again.
I moved the strawberries out of the greenhouse so they can get some water during the summer and I am going to redo the greenhouse when I return from NY. I think I may just put a soaker hose in since I don’t really care about the summer or the winter. I need to cut the grass tomorrow but if it is rainy I will just have to wait till I get back.
My paper was accepted for the SAMLA conference.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A lot of wildflowers still blooming this week, including oxeye daisy, honeysuckle (finishing), basil balm, wild hydrangea, water cress, yarrow, privet, common fleabane, lyre leaved sage (finishing), common cinquefoil, bicknell’s cranebill, Deptford pink, black medick, common speedwell, venus looking glass, white clover, wild rose.
I have been eating some peas from the greenhouse and taking walks all week. I should have some cherries this weekend. With the Flonase my energy is better.
Today is my last class for this week and things are going well, just four more classes to go.
This morning I changed the oil in the generator and cleared around the door of the cabin so you can see where the copperhead is.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I have loaned Mark the 5K and I wish him well. I told him he can come out and help me here and there and each time it will reduce his loan by 100.
My maymester first week is over and I am pretty tired. I have 14 students and I worked pretty hard all week keeping up. Now I will do some work over the weekend but I don’t have to rush.
I drove out to Wolf Creek after practicing my saxophone in my office (it is the second day in a row and my hands aren’t too bad). I was very tired but I did fish some and I got a nice trout on a wooly bugger.
I have been hiking a good deal during the week and I identified Bicknell’s Cranebill, a new one for the hollow. The house is in good shape but I do have a few things to do this weekend, including treating the gate area with Thompson’s.
I still have peas growing in the greenhouse but the strawberries are done.
I sent out an abstract for the Samla conference and I hope it gets accepted. Winston-Salem isn’t an idea spot but it might turn out to be a good quick break.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Time has passed quickly since my last entry. Dolores’ visit has come and gone and it went well except for a couple of brief political disagreements. We had a great time in Charlotte with an excellent meal at Capital Grill and we did a lot of walking downtown. On the way back we rode bikes at Foster’s Falls and then played golf and had a fine time dining at Alexander’s and playing golf a couple of times (Dolores just chipped and putted but had fun). One late evening I had to cut a tree that had fallen on the Sisson road and luckily I had a charge sawzall and rope to accomplish the task. On Thursday, we had a terrific lunch with Gyorgyi and then we had a spectacular ride to the Peaks of Otter with visibility over 50 miles. On Friday I drove D back to Charlotte and after dropping her off I played golf at the Renaissance course and then had dinner at P.F. Chang’s.
Today (Sunday) I cut the rest of the fallen tree, cut the grass, played golf at the Meadows, watched the Heat beat the Pacers, then drove to my office to print out my Maymester stuff.
Mark Burnette e-mailed me and I told him I would loan him the 5K to start up his mowing business.

Monday, April 30, 2012

My lower stomach bothered me again yesterday but some painkillers subdued the pain and today I am in good shape. I wonder if it is the golf that does it?
I have a few things to do for Dolores’ visit but most of it will be done Thursday and Friday. I will try to see Rob, Gyorgyi, and Jeff and Rachel at least.
The greenhouse is still producing, with some final lettuce and some strawberries. I am still eating fresh asparagus out of the orchard garden.
I changed my withholding on my 403B so I am now putting away 1500 a month instead of 1200. That should help cover all my expenses in December, the trip to Charleston, the trip to Big Bend, new tires and presents.
I fished this morning with George and the fishing was slow although George got a red-eye and I got one nice bluegill. He knows how to fish to be sure. I hope we can fish again when it warms up.
I am giving my 203 final and after I grade that I should be done until Maymester begins.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I have rethought taking a semester off and I think I will just do the Alaska trip the following summer and perhaps this winter I will take the desert trip. Taking a whole semester off would be very costly and I’d rather have the financial flexibility.
I had a good hike this morning, walking the steeper part three times and then cutting the grass up at the orchard. It looks very nice but I will cut it again before Dolores gets here.
Back at the house I did my weights and yoga and then headed off to get my truck fixed. Fortunately, they are going to cover it with the warranty.
I am a little nervous about the curriculum meeting this afternoon. I hope nobody asks any tough questions.
Yesterday I sold my crushed flute and my high school ring for 265 dollars so that was nice. I hadn’t expected 100. I also thought I was going to have to pass on golf, since Auburn and the Meadows were closed, but Castle Rock was open and I played well out there, shooting a 47, with the last four holes from the white tees. I chatted for a long time with Amy, the waitress at Applebees, and that was nice.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It is a rainy Sunday but I got a hike in (and identified corn salad) and heard both wood thrushes and scarlet tanagers (the latter I was really worried about).
Back in the house I rode the bike for 30 minutes.
My weight is 214 but my belly is still hurting today (I did play golf yesterday) but I am going to see what happens when I get down to 210. That should help the scars from the surgery from stretching. I haven’t had to take any pain killers so the pain is manageable.
I am also done with my grading (half a paper and half a portfolio left) so tomorrow should be nice and easy. It is supposed to rain so I doubt that I will play golf tomorrow even if my belly is feeling better.
I did my second open house on Saturday and though I only had 2 people show up, I did a good job talking to them.
My finances are stable but I have to slow down on spending money. I went overboard when I got my back pay and now it is time to conserve a little.
I have been in the hollow for over 2 and ½ years since Tracy left and I really want to stay at least till 65. That will of course depend on my health. I think retiring at 64 is very realistic but I may take fall 2013 off to write and to travel. Then I would teach at least another semester.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I am grading papers and portfolios this weekend and I am not too happy. I will be very glad when things are over.
I have to go in to do my second open house in a row and that is going to cut down my grading time even more.
My walk this morning was fine. I saw field mustard, black raspberry, white and purple violets, ragwort (finishing up), ground ivy, wild strawberry, yellow cinquefoil, lyre-leaved sage, wild geranium, star and common chickweed, garlic mustard, henbit, small flowered crowfoot. I haven’t heard a scarlet tanager yet and I hope they will be here soon. More good financial news. I will be getting a 3% bonus in December and a 2% raise in December 2013.
I had a good time fishing the north fork preparing for George’s visit on Monday. I caught a very nice rainbow right in the bend pool and had several other fish following my spinner.
After that I took a nap and then did my yoga and weights and then drove into town to ride my bike at the corporate research center and chat with my Aunt Marie about Richard.

Friday, April 13, 2012

All goes well at Radford and I am recovering from my stomach pain. It is clear that if I stay under 215, my surgery scars don’t bother me but when I put on a few more pounds, they get stretched and can be very painful particularly if I play golf (which I did yesterday) or do anything strenuous.
I had a good morning and then I decided to head up to the peaks of otter and take some walks along the way to save my stomach. The first walk was very lovely looking to the west at the mountains. My second walk, after a nap and a cup of tea at the restaurant, was also fun as I walked around the lake. I decided to fish it a little and though I got no bites, I still enjoyed myself.
The house is in good shape and I am hoping Ryan will call soon to start getting rid of the Tree of Heaven.
I may have to go in to do Kim’s Open House since she was injured today. I hope it isn’t too serious.
The main spring flowers are done but there are still quite a few, including columbines, wild geranium, field mustard, spring beauty, and star chickweed.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Things have been busy but productive. I got the lawn tractor back today and cut the grass. I trimmed the foam insulation on the far side of the house. I also did a hike in the morning and saw rue anemone, small flowered crowfoot, star chickweed, wild geranium, garlic mustard, ground ivy, field mustard, large flowered white trillium, violets, spring beauties¸ and purple dead nettle. My left shoulder was pretty messed up (no golf, no yoga, no weights) but it felt better today and I even went to the golf course and practiced some putting and some sand wedge shots. Earlier I had gone on an eight mile bike ride.
Tomorrow Jeff, Rachel and Benjamin are coming over and on Sunday I go have Easter dinner at Gyorgyi's. Both events should be fun.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It is Saturday, March 31, and I am at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, having given my paper on Muir and Burroughs yesterday to an audience of about 12 people. I read it pretty well and answered a couple of questions and that was it.
I did a lot of bike riding so far and riding out to Belle Isle was fun and the James, over 9 feet above flood so the river was closed, was very powerful. I drove to Short Pump center this afternoon and was able to get a new golf bag, 4 pairs of pants to replace my very worn out pants and a new putter, all purchased after I found out about my almost 12K raise. That will make things a lot easier for the next three years and may tempt me to work another yet to have even more financial flexibility.
The greenhouse is producing lettuce and I should have peas and strawberries soon.
I tried to cut the grass before I left but the engine was backfiring so I had wimmer pick it up and do a servicing on it. My grass will be pretty long before I get it back but I’ll catch up.
I have also enjoyed walking around Richmond near the state capitol and down east cary where there are a lot of restaurants and nightclubs.
I played golf on the way up on Friday and after I calmed down (I was tensed about making the conference), I shot very well and ended up with a 48 on a pretty tough course with a lot of traps. I am going to try to play tomorrow and test out the new putter.

This is an update on how Sunday went. I got up at 5:00 and decided that it would be better to get going so I gathered up my stuff and by 6:15, I was on the way. I drove to Charlottesville, stopped and rode my bike around the campus. Then I got back on the road and drove towards home. I called the Meadows to see how late I could take out a cart and Ryan said that it wasn’t too crowded and I could come out now. I got there around12:00 and played a decent round—using my new putter which worked well but I need to practice more with it—and then drove home for lunch and a nap. I made a salad out of the fresh lettuce so that was healthy. After my nap I did my weights and yoga and did ten minutes of practicing before rob called and I headed off for a hike with him at Tom’s Creek. I am going to grade some and then watch the Baylor-Stanford game.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It is Sunday, March 25 and the rain is coming down hard. Luckily I got a hike in before it started and was able to finish cutting back the butterfly bush so it doesn’t block the greenhouse (which has been producing lettuce every day for salad). I also put the blocks back on the platform by the pond. No sight of my two trout but I wish them well.
Yesterday I went on a hike up to the poplars where I have found morels but there were none to be found. I did see that the bluebells had started, and along the way I saw yellow dog violet, birdsfoot violet, common chickweed, a few twinleaves still flowering, bloodroot gone, purple dead nettle, golden corydalis, shepherd’s purse done, redbuds starting, bittercress done. In the hollow hepatica is done, rue anemone is peak, star chickweed, ground ivy by the orchard and trilliums starting. I had dinner with Rachel and Benjamin and then I babysat Benjamin while Rachel taught the sufi dance class. I had fun playing with him in the playroom and then holding him and singing the Sufi songs to him as he watched the class. Jeff’s father has passed and I spoke to him last night and I will be glad to see him when he gets back.
I have fished the north fork about 5 times and I have caught two trout and one nice bluegill. Not much but close by and full of promise.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A good day for a hike (bitter cress, violets, coltsfoot, purple dead nettle, henbit, first bloodroot and toothwort, hepatica by the big pine, bluebell plants close to flowering, witch hazel flowering).
Then I went out to play golf and shot a 48 on the back even with making one of the holes harder.
I went back home and sprayed the foam insulation in the shed, moved and stabilized the bed in the back of my truck so the fishing stuff will fit in better, filled the generator, cut off the plastic on the new truck passkey.
Then I drove in for a nice walk with Rob on the trail, before having dinner at Indian Garden and watching Duke play horribly and lose to Lehigh.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Yesterday was fish stocking day and it didn’t work out at all as I wanted. Dale got there about 1:30 and by 1:45 the stocking had begun. Jed had a couple of people there helping so I drove up to my pond with the two small rainbows and released them. I drove back and helped with carrying the nets full of 12 inch trout (including 10 very large ones) to different spots on the river. I had thought it was clear that I wanted 50 for my section (I even mentioned it once) but by the time we got to the ford, there were about 12 fish left. I was pretty upset and after putting about five at the ford (and I think they went upstream), I only had a handful left for my gate. I paid my share, 264 dollars, for basically ten fish. I did tell Jed that I would like to fish up to the bend and he said that I could fish the whole river if I wanted.
On Saturday I took a nice hike up to the orchard, raked some of the dirt and evened out the tractor tire marks, then reseeded the grass in a couple of places. I hiked back and then drove to the river and fished the bend, using a big wooly bugger and then a small spinner. I had no luck with either. Still it was fun and I felt a little better about the stocking deal.
I did some more work around the house and found out, after I chiseled off the plastic, that the key for the truck didn’t work.
On my way out of the hollow, I saw four trucks by the river (at the bridge and upstream) and I hoped they would leave the bend alone.
Jeff is on his way back up to Connecticut to see his father who has had a stroke and I will have lunch with Rachel tomorrow and watch Benjamin for a while.
My blood is back up a pint and Rob agreed to put me back on the losartan even though he is not sure if it wasn’t the hemoplex that helped. We shall see in a month or two.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday, March 08, 2012, turned out to be productive, but I was also pretty tired since I am back taking more of the second blood pressure medication. My blood pressure this morning was in the low 150s and that is no good. I didn’t hear from Rob about my blood work today so I don’t know if I can go back on the Lorsartan.
I took a walk to the orchard in the morning, checked the lawn tractor battery with a flashlight that I left there and then walked back, fixing the water bars with the shovel. Then I took a nap and when I got up I wanted to fix the road with the tractor and put some dirt around the trees in the orchard (so the lawn tractor won’t bump around so much and so I can get even closer to the trunks). I decided to tighten the nuts on the scraper blade and after taking off the keeper pin and getting the two pipe wrenches on, the nut slipped out and I was stuck. I called Mike but he couldn’t come till the morning so I looked things over and figured if I loosed a few things I could get the bracket back on. It worked and I was off, leveling the road and then putting two buckets of dirt in the orchard. It was a lot of work but cutting the grass should be a lot easier.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

On Friday I brought my truck in for them to look at the transmission and though they thought it would last till October, I didn’t want to worry about it breaking down before then so I bought a 2012 Frontier that ended up costing me, with a tow hitch and a 120000 mile warranty, 380 a month for four years (with 5000 down and 7000 for a trade in), a reasonable figure and now I don’t have to worry about transportation for at least four years.
I did head off for Charlotte on Saturday and it turned out to be a good choice. I rode my bike up near Mt. Airy, played golf (or rather I hit wildly at golf balls for nine holes) at Twin Oaks, and then had a dinner in my truck at P.F. Changs off Harris Blvd. At 5:20 it was an hour and a half wait for a table and the traffic was too much. But the food was very good as always. I drove into Charlotte and found out that there were no rooms (the CIAA tourney was going on) so I had to make a reservation in Fort Mill at a Quality Inn there. I walked around downtown Charlotte and there were a lot of people there. I stopped at Valpiano to watch the Duke game and Duke got killed. Then I walked around some more and drove to Fort Hill.
Today, Sunday, I decided to drive down to Columbia and I had a great bike ride/hike in the Congaree National Park. I then got a room at the new Motel 6 there and after a nap went to Motor Supply for a very good dinner, including some Brussels sprouts that weren’t half bad. I have gotten some grading done and have looked at Amara’s poems, which are quite good.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I finished cleaning out the cattle guard and fixing the water bars and I also used the tractor blade at an inward angle to bring in a lot of dirt and leaves to the middle of the road. I did both sides twice and then I straightened the blade and kept it about an inch off the ground and it leveled things out pretty well. The road is much better and I think I will do it again.
I also used the tractor bucket to clear the orchard road of the two trees which had fallen on it. The snow wasn’t too bad but it did cause me a lot of work.
I have been seeing small flowered bitter cress for almost three weeks and on the 24th of February, coltsfoot appeared, much earlier than usual.
My classes are going well and I am now on spring break so I can relax a bit. Unless the weather gets miserable, I think I am going to stay around. Perhaps I’ll drive down to Charlotte for a couple of days. It is very pretty in the fourth ward in early spring.
I think my proposals for the Creative Writing Concentration and the Creative Writing Minor are going to work.
I talked to Jed Sisson and we are going to stock the north fork next week. He wants about 200 fish with 10 large ones and I want 50 for the stretch between the hollow gate and the ford. It should be a lot of fun once we get them in. I will also get the 2 small ones for my pond. I am going to spend $275 and Jed will pay for the rest of the $750.
I am not sleeping very well but my headache stopped after reducing the blood pressure medication.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I had an exciting Sunday and Monday. After a wonderful Saturday of hiking and golf, the first real snow of the winter came on Sunday. I went out in the morning and I returned by early afternoon and the snow started. After it reaching about two inches, I went out on the tractor (with the scraper blade angled) and realized I was about a half hour late. The snow built up behind the tractor and though I was able to make it down the road, I had to do two more runs to get things clear. On the third run, I looked up at the trees and realized that many of the big branches were loaded with snow and that one of them could easily break and kill me so I drove very quickly back to the house and called it quits.
In the morning I knew I was going to have to cut some trees so I tested the chainsaw and headed down on the tractor (with the chainsaw in the bucket) and started my work. I had all my chainsaw gear on (my Kevlar pants, my helmet with visor, my Kevlar gloves) and I had to cut up four downed trees. There were dozens of branches down but the scraper blade got rid of most of them. It wasn’t too hard to do, but I am not the chainsawer I used to be so I have to be very careful.
This morning (Thursday), I went for a hike and I saw that the waterbars were completely washed out so I had to work on them. The one by the cattle guard let in a lot of mud in the guard so I will have to clean that out this weekend. The bars are fine now but I will put more crusher run on them when I work on the road again.
I got my federal income tax refund so I don’t have to worry about maxing out the equity line.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Today was another good day (high 50s) of hiking in the morning with Rob, fishing Wolf Creek (not a hit), and shooting a 49 on the back nine at Castle Rock. That happened mainly because I made a great shot on number 17 after I had blocked a direct shot and had to bank it off a slight hill and it bounced right on the green, and then I hit a 200 yard drive on 18 which left me about 100 yards away.
I sent Kate a funny e-mail and she had a good laugh. My earlier one wasn’t very funny.
Raechel is still a big concern but I hope things will go better for her.
I spoke with Dolores and she is doing fine and she and Jeff are doing very well with Marina. D is still planning to come out in May.
I got the last of the black plastic out of the orchard and everything looks good there. I have seen bitter cress and speedwells flowers.
My CPA Diane continues to mess things up but at least my state and federal tax returns are in and I should have some money within two weeks. When I get the money I am going to give Second Harvest another thousand.
I played golf a couple of times during the week and the weather has been fine, although snow is expected tomorrow. It should melt quickly but I may be out on the tractor tomorrow.
The green house piping has sprung another leak but I won’t fix it right now. I do have to get it fixed because the water spilling inside the house makes it more prone to fungus.
My classes are going well, and my problem class (American Lit) is responding well to O Pioneers.
My energy is better and I hope I have positive results on the blood test in 4 weeks. My rash is completely gone.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday was much better. My complete body rash, caused by the last blood pressure med, is much improved, and I only took 20 mg of prednisone after taking 100 the day before.
I also got a positive response to my e-mail to Diane Green, and I will see her tomorrow at two and I should have most of my tax preparation done. I should get at least 4k back on the federal and if I can mail that next week, I should have enough money to cover my March visa bill.
Rob and I had a nice walk tonight, just beating the rain, and he was in a very good mood. I will be taking Raechel to Appleby’s on Sunday around 3 and I hope George will give her a hostess job.
I did a good hike this morning, and went back up to the orchard three times and my breathing was good. I also did 25 minutes on the bike and I hope that will help with the blood pressure.
I had a good conversation with Kelly last night about her mom and today things went very well. Liz had the pacemaker installed and she should be released tomorrow. It sounds like Kelly can get back home on Saturday as planned.
I treated the wheelbarrow with Thompson’s and filled the tire to 30 pounds so that task is finished. I do have some lettuce in the green house but the cold may freeze it down again.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Today I was very tired again, even though I did a lot of things, hiking in the morning, trimming half of the asparagus patch, charging the solar batteries, weights and yoga, practicing my saxophone, reading and grading for class. I had to take three fairly short naps but it bothers me after I had two good days last week. I have dropped one of the new meds and I hope my energy will return and I won’t get a rash, like I did with the last new medication.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I had a good Friday, February 3rd, hiking in the morning and pruning the orchard since the trees look like the leaves could come out in a few weeks. Having treated the two bridges with Thompson’s waterseal a few days ago, my hollow list is temporarily empty. I played golf in the afternoon and shot a 49 with a three putt on the last hole to make it dramatic. Then I went over Rob’s for food and a walk before I headed off to see Claire. I chatted with her a little and I think she was glad I came over. When Cathy came I chatted with her and her headache is still bad and Maddie is sick.
My teaching is going pretty well although I want to get my 203 class speaking up more.
My finances are a little better so I should be able to wait for April to get my tax refunds. I did cancel my March trip to save some money. The real problem will come in August when I have to pay for the summer trip which will cost me about 6500. I may have to take a few thousand out of my 403B and I don’t really want to do that. I will also probably replace my truck in the fall and that is going to have to be completely financed unless I pull some from the 403B.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ryan Klopf, of DCR, came out today to look at the property and that was very instructive. He couldn’t locate the smooth coneflower—it will be much easier in the spring—but he explained what he thought needed to be done to protect it and also what should be done with the Tree of Heaven. He is going to come out in the spring to work on that also. I am very excited, knowing I can move forward on protecting things soon.
I think I have a cold but I hope it is not a result of the new blood pressure medicine. I think I have a bit more energy but I am not sure since I may have the cold. I am coughing some (which could come from the bp meds) but a congested head seems more likely to be from a cold.
I fixed the greenhouse leak and pulled out the dying peas. I picked off the infected leaves from the other tray of peas and I think they will survive. I did open up the two doors and I think getting some air in there will help a lot.
I played golf this afternoon and it was very cool and windy so I had to wear my heavy jacket. I didn’t hit anything further than a hundred yards but it was my putting (two three putts and a four putt) that killed my chances to break 50. I shot a 51.
I graded six poems so far and read some journals and some of Sister Carrie. I am not fully back into teaching but I am getting there.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I have been on the new blood pressure medication for four days and I had three tough and listless days. Today I think I feel slightly better but it will take many days to determine if I am really less tired.
I fixed the culvert with erosion control stones and some concrete. I bought 8 10 pound bags and they were very easy to handle. I wish they were 20 pound bags but it worked well. The problem I had was the day never got warm and sunny as expected so the concrete didn’t set quickly and I am not sure it ever will. I have the a hundred or so rocks there so resetting it won’t be too much of a problem.
I have been taking hikes even though I have to nap after them and riding the stationary bike even though a nap has to follow that. I need to fix the pipe that goes into the 1000 gallon tank (another gift from Tracy that I feel I have to maintain so when I sell the property both of us will get more money). I was worried that I would find some dead animals in the tank, but even though the cover had come off (it must have been a bear), there wasn’t anything dead in the tank and I cleaned and replaced the cover, screwing it in tightly.
I saw Jeff, Rachel and Benjamin on Saturday evening and it was fun, good conversation, nose rubbing with Benjamin, reading, block playing and a little bit of carrying him around.
I thought the football championship games were terrific and I am looking forward to the Super Bowl.
My first week of classes went well and since I have smaller classes I don’t think I will have any disruptive students sitting in the back and chatting.